It has been a productive and creative weekend – I have spent the last two days block printing onto fabric with the Khushi group in mind. I have been toying with the idea of doing some block printing with the group for a few weeks now but have been unsure. I have two vintage wooden printing blocks which I have never used, until yesterday, when I finally decided to give them a go and find out if they work.
This is what I discovered…
Spurred on by the success of these prints I decided that two printing blocks would just not be enough to keep everyone in the Khushi group busy. There are often at least 8-15 in a group and we only have an hour in which to do things so it is paramount that I have enough equipment to keep everyone busy for the full hour – otherwise the time is wasted as the ladies wait for equipment.
Therefore I took to the drawing board – One of the images is a line drawing of the Goddess Durga – inspired by the theme of the work we are creating at the moment – celebrations – Navratri is the next celebration in the ladies calendar I thought the image would work well. The other is a boldly decorated elephant – I like elephants.
Next was to try these lino blocks on fabric. Because the wood blocks worked so well I was unsure whether the lino would – they are much smoother than the wood blocks and I wasn’t sure whether this would affect the print.
Of course some prints came out better than others, as is the nature with block printing and to me part of the beauty of the process. But I think they worked well enough to be used by the group. I only hope they enjoy the process as much as I do.
It has been a while since my last post as I have been visiting family in the North but I have had to hit the ground running since my return as things are in full swing back here in Loughborough.
On Thursday 20th August I attended the launch of Charnwood Arts RawArt groups latest exhibition – Flotsam and Jetsam – at the Bradgate Unit, Glenfield Hospital in Leicester. We had a really great turn out and the work was really well recieved, thank you to all for the lovely comments. A big thank you to Jemma Bagley (Community Arts Development Co-ordinator Charnwood Arts) for her lovely introduction to the work and thank you also to Kev Ryan (Director Charnwood Arts) and Tim Sayers (Co-director Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust) for their kind words. Thank you also to all the participants and artists for their work.
The group have being creating works on the theme for about a year and the exhibits include paintings, dry point etchings, collages, 3D work and textiles. 15 artists are included and each artist has explored the theme in their own way. There are 48 works in total. The Bradgate Writers group that meets at the unit has responded to the work with new writing on the theme. This will be displayed alongside the artworks. The exhibition continues until September.
I have also spent the last two weeks working closely with Jemma Bagley on another project, also in Leicester – Look-A-Ladies-Ukulele LALU – On Mondays we have the art sessions whilst on the Thursday the Ukulelel sessions take place. Some wonderful work is taking place on this project.
To find out more about the group or to get involved yourself please visit the projects website here: www.projectlalu.wordpress.com
At yesterdays LALU session I also ran a workshop for the Khushi ladies at Peepul Enterprise in Leicester. This was my first session with the ladies for some time. Before we have been doing little sewing projects to help the ladies gain confidence on the sewing machines. Now we are working on some textile artworks that will be exhibited at Peepul Enterprise for the Navratri and Diwali celebrations, therefore the focus for the works is celebration.
This week we focused on making a background for the ladies to embellish and add to in the comming weeks. I chose to teach some new skills in the form of patchwork. We had some fun looking through material in the beginning and then things were in full flow as the ladies took to the machines. Althought at first the steps to the patchwork were difficult for everyone to grasp once started the penny would drop as I illustrated the way the patchwork would come together. We made some great progress and I hope that next week everyone will have their backgrounds completed and then the really exciting bits can begin. We should be doing some applique and some free machine embroidery in the coming weeks.